Skip to comments.Unwelcome Truths (Able Danger, OKC, 9/11)
Posted on 08/15/2005 12:57:02 PM PDT by doug from upland
In mid-19th century America a political party sprung up called the Know Nothing Party. It got its name from a trait that more than a century later would be called plausible deniability. Know Nothings - when asked a relevant question - would deny knowledge of the subject. It bemuses us as a quaint eccentricity from a distant time until we realize that were doing the same thing today. Recent revelations about covert Able Danger operations conducted in the US against terrorism are forcing certain people to deal with subjects that they had thought swept fully under the carpet.
Because most of the culprits in this astonishing story of willful ignorance are either Democrats - most especially members of the administration of disgraced President Clinton - or are media liberals, the story is likely to be buried until it explodes on Internet publishing, blogs, and talk radio. But this culpability exceeds even the usual gap between left and right in that it includes many in the so-called realist wing of the Republican Party and Republican liberals (aka, centrists and moderates in the MSM).
By now you will have read many summaries of a recently released Able Danger report. The Able Danger operation is described by former CIA operative and terrorism expert Wayne Simmons as one of our best covert operations. The operation he continues, was expert at using open source intel to locate and identify Islamic terrorists. We can only surmise that a gold mine of information lies yet unrevealed. The latest result was neatly addressed by NY Post columnist Deborah Orin who wrote tellingly of the incredible ineptitude of the highly-touted and endlessly self-absorbed 9/11 Commission. Staffers - perhaps even the self-promoting Commissioners themselves - intentionally ignored Able Danger reports that were delivered on at least two separate briefings, that provided detailed intelligence on terrorist Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers years prior to the September 11 attack.
There are several factors - none flattering to the Commission - that might explain this appalling lapse. John Podhoretz summaries them neatly: So was the [911 Commission] staff a) protecting the Atta timeline or b) Jamie Gorelick or c) the Clinton administration or d) itself, because it got hold of the information relatively late and the staff was lazy? Options b and c are tightly related. Then high-ranking Clinton Justice Department appointee Gorelick wrote the infamous wall memo that forbade interagency coordination of matters involving internal terrorism investigations. Specifically DOD and CIA were prohibited from exchanging relevant information with FBI. This produced much of the harmful lack of intelligence coordination that the Commission then used arrogantly and paternalistically to criticize the Executive Branch - particularly the Bush administration, even though most of the problems arose during Clinton and earlier. Regardless, the eventual outcome of the Able Danger bombshell will tarnish the image the 9/11 Commission burnished so brightly for itself.
But the really upsetting matter is Podhoretzs first note. It requires a deeper reading. The Commission was protecting its interpretation of Mohammad Attas international and domestic US travels. Key in this interpretation in the minds of GOP foreign policy realists, Clinton supporters, and Bush haters, is the necessity to de-link any ties between Saddam Husseins Iraq and al Qaeda operations. After all, in the endless cacophony of criticism against the Iraq War, the two steady drumbeats have been failure to find WMD, and no links between Saddam and the September 11 attack. Till now they have acted in the manner of modern day Know Nothings by deliberate misinterpretations of a series of reports including the 911 Commissions, and WMD reports by David Kay and Charles Dueffler.
However the unimpeachable Able Danger report, reluctantly acknowledged to be correct by 911 Commission staffers, may well blow the lid off the ability of the Know Nothings to continue to cloak the truth. For the movements of Atta prior to the terrorist attack, if acknowledged, will support statements by the Czech Republic that link Atta, and hence the al Qaeda attack on America, irrefutably to Saddams covert intelligence operatives. This is something that surfaced very soon after the attack. The former Czech deputy foreign minister, later ambassador to the UN, gave statements that he personally expelled a high raking Iraqi embassy official in Prague for being a covert foreign intelligence agent after the latter was discovered having met with Atta in the international lounge at the Prague airport in August 2001. There the Iraqi transferred a large amount of cash to Atta, sufficient to fund the completion of the September 11 attack.
Despite cruel pressure from MSM, the hard left, and the US State Department and CIA, the Czechs insisted that their report was correct. Former Congressman John LeBoutellier was furious at the Bush administration for bowing to CIA pressure to discount the Czech report because it verified a vital deadly connection within the covert terrorist community. Now it appears as if the Czechs were right. Dont hold your breath waiting for apologies to be forthcoming from previous critics.
By acknowledging the Iraq-al Qaeda ties, not only to terrorism in general but to the September 11 attack in particular the anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-expansion of democracy and freedom assaults by the critics are suddenly muted. In fact, the war becomes completely acceptable under any and all circumstances. This outcome is so repugnant to the hard left that it will justify even the most extraordinary suppression of evidence or promulgation of an outright lie in order to achieve its ends.
Furthermore, if the Iraq-al Qaeda ties in one attack are proved then we must dig deeper and investigate the possibility of previous links and previous attacks. This brings us to the Oklahoma City bombing, a too-hasty FBI investigation, and political pressure to close the case once the perfect perpetrators were arrested. Who other than Tim McVeigh could have been a more ideal catch? A disgruntled white male redneck, ex-military, supporter of the Branch Davidians, who read neo-Nazi books, McVeigh so represented the lefts worldview that the investigation was halted before it began. Janet Reno, perennial willing accomplice to the Clintons, ordered the FBI to cease work after McVeigh and Terry Nichols were in custody.
Gutsy Oklahoma City reporter Jayna Davis conducted her own contemporary investigation that she details in her excellent book The Third Terrorist, in which she tells of highly suspicious Iraqi behavior in Oklahoma City. Further, she was stunned when the FBI and other law enforcement agencies smugly dismissed her findings and insisted that they had solved and closed the case. For its part, the FBI was happy to wrap up a case quickly without the need to delve into foreign terrorist matters. It was more expeditious to cut away and discard loose ends than to pursue them. Acknowledgement that Iraq and al Qaeda were involved in the bombing would have necessitated a major military response to the attack that the Clinton administration wanted to avoid. As long as the event could be covered by the criminal justice system - as had the 1993 World Trade bombing - Clintons foreign policy aims were accommodated.
Continued investigation by Davis showed that the top Iraqi in question was a former senior Iraqi Republican Guard officer with close Saddam regime ties. Further some of the members of the Iraqi group that fled Oklahoma City when the bombing of the Murrah Building took place moved to the Northeast. One later took a job at Logan International Airport in Boston, the location of two September 11 hijackings. He disappeared after that attack.
The Know Nothing philosophy is harming America, and has become intolerable. It is long overdue for America to sweep away the obfuscating cloud brought on by ludicrous political correctness and the incessant bleating of the Know Nothings. A core principle of war is that in order to win, you must know yourself and know your enemy. We must insist that the truth be surfaced, discussed, analyzed, and acted upon. Continual suppression of essential facts emboldens our enemies and makes us increasingly vulnerable to subsequent attack.
Able Danger reports must be made public to the extent possible, and we must have a reinvestigation of the series of terrorist attacks on America, preferably without the irrational partisanship that has markedly hurt our war effort to date. That may necessitate some harsh words from the White House toward certain opposition politicians and toward the media. It also requires radical reform of the dysfunctional State Department, CIA, FBI, and any other of the Executive Branch agencies that consider themselves a separate branch of government. The American people can handle the truth.
Procrastination - guaranteeing failure - is not an option. tRO
Curious about North Korea? Learn more in Gordons best-selling book Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin became the Evil Twin, Lyons Press available at bookstores now
Contributor Gordon Cucullu
Former Green Beret lieutenant colonel, Gordon Cucullu is now an editorialist, author and a popular speaker. Born into a military family, he lived and served for more than thirteen years in East Asia, including eight years in Korea. For his Special Forces service in Vietnam he was awarded a Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Presidential Unit Commendation. After separation from the Army, he worked on Korea and East Asian affairs at both the Pentagon and Department of State as well as an executive for General Electric in Korea. His first major non-fiction work, Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin, is based in large part on his extensive experience in Korea and East Asia as a governmental insider and businessman. [website] [go to Cucullu index]
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The Czech counterintelligence service reported that the Sept. 11 hijacker [Mohamed] Atta met with the former Iraqi intelligence chief in Prague, [Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir] al Ani, on several occasions. During one of these meetings, al Ani ordered the IIS finance officer to issue Atta funds from IIS financial holdings in the Prague office.
What you said BUMP!
Don't want to be difficult, but the know-nothings will attack any fact out of kilter or misquote or even misspelling just to kill off this story.
Amen, you preach it, Mama! It's about time we took to the streets to let them know we want the truth, no matter what. Otherwise, it'll just be more of the same. At the very least, maybe it's about time for term limits.
Great post BUMP.
I hope this story does not die.
"This outcome is so repugnant to the hard left that it will justify even the most extraordinary suppression of evidence or promulgation of an outright lie in order to achieve its ends."
What is an "extraordinary suppression of evidence" by the Organized Hard Left(OHL)? It's routine no matter how complete and outrageous it is. Nor is the "promulgation of an outright lie" anything special. It's what the OHL does.
I don't know about the later date. I hope someone can clarify.
Let's not go too far. Enablers of sham after-the-fact investigations of violent acts are guilty, but nowhere near as guilty as the one's who do those acts.
If I thought it would do an ounce of good, I'd argue with you about that point.
But since I don't, I won't. :-)
Czech Spies Still See Iraqi Connection to Sept. 11
Mohammad Attas Decisive Meeting
Jaroslav Spurny, Respekt (independent weekly), Prague, Czech Republic, Nov. 10, 2003
Footage from a closed-circuit camera shows Mohammad Atta (R) passing through security at the airport in Portland, ME, Sept. 11, 2001 (Photo: Portland Police Dept./AFP-Getty Images).
Immediately after the occupation of Baghdad, the CIA succeeded in obtaining nearly the complete archive of the Foreign Ministry and some of the material belonging to the Iraqi secret service. Czech security organs now have access to documents from Iraqs embassy in Prague. This summer, the Iraqi consul to Prague, Ahmed al-Ani, was detained by American soldiers in Baghdad. Although it has not yet been proved whether the consul met with the terrorist Mohammad Atta [suspected leader of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States], new information from the American, the German, and the Czech [intelligence] services indicates that Attas visits to Prague were important. For the terrorist operations of Sept. 11, they may have been decisive.
Money for a Terrorist
Muhammad Atta, 33, an Egyptian, the leader of a 20-member group that committed the attack against the United States in September 2001 that left nearly 3,000 dead in its wake, flew to Prague for the first time on May 30, 2000. He had applied for a visa four days earlier and sat on a plane in Hamburg, although his application had not yet been acted on, and he must have known that Czech officials would not admit him to Czech territory. And, indeed, they didnt: Atta spent six hours in the duty-free zone of the Prague airport and then flew back to Germany. As far as I know, U.S. officials are intensively looking into this visit. Atta must have been brought to Prague by a genuinely urgent and important matter, when he flew with the knowledge that they would not let him leave the airport, says Edward Jay Epstein, a well-known U.S. journalist and author of respected books on the activities of intelligence services who has been researching the case for two years. Still, despite persistent efforts, neither Czech nor American officials know the purpose of Attas trip.
Similarly, they know little about Attas second visit [to Prague]. During that visit, the future terrorist arrived by bus on June 2, 2000. According to a closed-circuit camera and information from the Security Information Service (BIS) [the Czech intelligence agency], Atta lingered for a while at the Happy Day casino at Pragues Florenc station and departed the next day on a Czech Airlines flight to New York. No record, however, has been found of his having spent the night at any Czech hotel; hence it appears he stayed at a private residence. What is interesting is the fact, unpublicized until now, that three days after this Prague visit, tens of thousands of dollars were transferred from several accounts to Attas own American and German bank accounts (officials have not made public the precise amount, and it is not available from unofficial sources).
The CIA is convinced that Attas terrorist group must have been led by professionals from an intelligence service, perhaps Iraqs. U.S. experts believe that during the two aforementioned Prague visits, the execution of the terrorist action was to be confirmed. Atta was to visit Prague a third time in April 2001. The Czech secret service received from one of its informers a warning that Al-Ani, the Iraqi consul, was to meet with a distinguished Arab student from Hamburgthis is information that up until now was top secret. BIS monitored the meeting: The men met in a Prague restaurant on the evening of April 8. To this day, it remains unclear whether this Hamburg student was Atta. Yet again, three days after that meeting, $100,000 arrived in Attas Florida account.
In his report a year ago, Glenn A. Fine, the inspector general of the U.S. Justice Department, rejected the possibility of Attas April visit. In the document, he asserted that two days before the supposed Prague meeting, Atta flew from Virginia Beach to New York and, 70 hours later, was again in Florida. Atta could have managed the Prague meeting only with difficulty. Yet, according to new and as yet unpublished information from U.S. security services, there exists no record of Attas movement from the beginning of March 2001 to the end of April of that year.
At first we checked only two days around April 8, when Al-Ani had the meeting with the supposed student who is believed to be Atta. Considering new information from the United States about Attas six-week disappearance, we have broadened our inquiry to an extended time frame; that means checking tens of thousands of records of airplane passengers and hotel guests, a BIS operative asserts. Atta could have simply come here a lot sooner than when he met with Al-Ani. He could have had a series of meetings in Germany and then in Prague, where the final details of the action were worked out, he adds.
The Capture of Al-Ani
On July 9 of this year, the Americans captured Ahmed al-Ani in Baghdad, and he has been held since then in a temporary jail at the Baghdad airport. Al-Ani refuses to make a statement. We have information that he was an intelligence officer with the power to direct foreign operations, is the terse and only report from American authorities, published some time ago by AFP. Epstein says: My American colleagues and I are very much interested in Al-Anis statement. Despite all sorts of contacts, we havent learned anything. Either the CIA and FBI dont know anything, or they are keeping it top-secret.
Iraqs liberators obtained an array of documents from offices there. The most important was material from the Foreign Ministry and the secret police. A portion of the archives was destroyed, and the allies supposedly dont have any proof yet that Iraq directed terrorist operations abroad. Nor, according to secret service sources, have any documents been found that would prove that Iraq was actually planning an attack against Prague-based Radio Free Europe. Iraqi spy Jabir Salim informed the BIS of such a plan at the end of 1998 and later informed Britains MI6 [intelligence service]. Saddam Hussein supposedly gave him an order to attack the radio station and provided him with $150,000 to carry out the action. Salim (whom the British hastily brought to London from Prague in 1998, after former Foreign Minister Jan Kavan scandalously blew his cover) went to the side of his enemy, supposedly because he did not want to have innocent lives on his conscience, and his testimony was regarded by both secret services as absolutely credible. We have come to the conclusion that either the Iraqis destroyed important papers or hid them someplace, representatives of the secret services assert.
At the end of this March, right after the beginning of the allied attack on Iraq, the Czech Foreign Ministry expelled the last two Iraqi diplomats serving at the local embassy from Prague. They had only 40 hours to leave. The deadline was deliberately difficult: Officials wanted to give the Iraqis the least possible time to destroy documents. What remained at the embassy is now in the hands of local [Czech] security units. There are a lot of interesting things there, but I cant go into any greater detail, says one Czech diplomat. But he will say that no documents were found in those archives proving a meeting between Atta and Al-Ani or an Iraqi role in the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
Thus, so far, there exists only a single official statement linking Iraq, Atta, and Al-Ani with Sept. 11. This May, Manhattan U.S. District Judge Harold Baer allowed damages in the amount of $104 million for the families of two victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The families named Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Saddam Husein and his regime as parties to pay damages. Although the decision is a formality, it is nevertheless important, for in the United States, the word of a court carries weight. One of the pieces of evidence supporting Saddam Husseins participation in the Sept. 11 attack was the information of the Czech Interior Ministry regarding Attas visit to Prague and his alleged meeting with Al-Ani.
Sorry... I listen to the dude almost every day. He knows that this is 'buzzin like a hornets nest on the Internet.
It is PAST time, Nita.
Frankly, I am shocked and a little embarrassed that many of us
haven't already done so. Here's hoping that someone
like Jayna Davis may yet prove to be a catalyst for exposing the truth.
I have a feeling that August was a typo.
So, did the President go too far with his statement about those that harbor terrorists?
I think a solid link between Iraq and terrorism was also documented when the Philippine government expelled an Iraqi diplomat after he was tied to terrorist bombings by the Abu Sayyaf:
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